05/08/2008 - 15:03

Portman open to US ownership

05/08/2008 - 15:03

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Portman Ltd managing director Richard Mehan said he is open to the possibility of its largest shareholder, US company Cleveland Cliffs, taking full ownership of the company.

Portman open to US ownership

Portman Ltd managing director Richard Mehan said he is open to the possibility of its largest shareholder, US company Cleveland Cliffs, taking full ownership of the company.

Cleveland president Don Gallagher reportedly told journalists at the annual Diggers & Dealers conference in Kalgoorlie that the company might look at lifting its stake in Portman from 85 per cent to 100 per cent.

Mr Gallagher said it made sense to consolidate its shares in Portman.

Mr Mehan, who is also president and chief executive of Cleveland's Asia Pacific arm, told WA Business News he would consider a full acquisition by the US company.

"It's not something that I will support or oppose because we don't have any proposition in front of us in relation to that," Mr Mehan said.

"It's obviously something that Cliffs will think about as time goes on but the number one priority is the Alpha transaction."

Cleveland recently made a $10 billion bid for US coal miner Alpha Natural Resources.

For now, Mr Mehan said Portman is concentrating on the Golden West Resources Ltd's shareholders meeting scheduled later this month.

Portman has nominated Mr Mehan and Paul Piercy to the GWR board in a bid to bolster the latter company's iron ore experience.

Portman has proposed that GWR executive chairman Con Markopoulos and executive director Michael Wilson be stood down.

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